Posted January 08, 2014

NBA fines Knicks’ J.R. Smith $50K for repeated shoelace stunts

Ben Golliver, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Greg Monroe, J.R. Smith, New York Knicks, Shawn Marion
J.R. Smith

The NBA did not find J.R. Smith’s shoelace stunts very funny. (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

After a warning proved insufficient, the NBA fined Knicks guard J.R. Smith $50,000 on Wednesday for “recurring instances of unsportsmanlike conduct” after he twice tried to untie an opponent’s shoelace during games this week.

Smith successfully untied the shoelace of Mavericks forward Shawn Marion during New York’s 92-80 victory over Dallas on Saturday. The NBA then warned Smith not to repeat the action, but he attempted to untie the shoelace of Pistons forward Greg Monroe during New York’s 89-85 victory over Detroit on Tuesday.

Knicks coach Mike Woodson spoke directly about Smith’s antics on ESPN New York 98.7 FM on Wednesday.

“I’ve always said I don’t condone things that I know you shouldn’t do,” Woodson said. “No, I’m not happy about this. He was warned, he comes back and he makes the same mistake, it’s not right. I just got the information, I’m going to address it [Thursday] when he comes in here for work. It’s unacceptable. It really is. It’s unprofessional. That’s the only word I can use. … You can’t do that. You just cannot do it. … At the end of the day, he’s got to grow up. These things have got to stop.”

Smith issued an apology on Wednesday afternoon.

“Huge apologies to my team, to the league [and] most of all you the fans,” Smith wrote on Twitter

The first untying incident occurred when Dirk Nowitzki stepped to the foul line during the second quarter. Smith, who had just checked into the game, lined up alongside Marion, occupying the third stall on the right side of the paint. As Nowitzki went into his free throw routine, Smith bent down as if to check his shoes before reaching over to untie the laces on Marion’s left shoe. Marion looked down, apparently catching Smith in the act, but by that point it was time to jockey for rebounding position and there was nothing he could do. Nowitzki buried the free throw, though.

On New York’s next possession, Marion could be seen tying his shoe after Andrea Bargnani hit a short jumper near the free-throw line.

On Monday, Smith suggested on Twitter that this wasn’t the first time he has untied an opponent’s shoe, writing that he does it “every game.” Then, on Tuesday, Smith attempted to untie Monroe’s shoe during a free throw. Smith reached down with his right hand and contacted Monroe’s left foot, but he did not succeed in untying the shoe as Monroe moved his foot.

As The Point Forward noted after the first incident, taking the court with the knowledge that one’s uniform is free from tampering by an opponent should be an inalienable right in the NBA. That Smith so blatantly thumbed his nose at the league’s establishment by repeating his action made a fine inevitable.

The 2013 Sixth Man Award winner has run afoul of the NBA on numerous occasions. In November, Smith was fined $25,000 for “directing hostile and inappropriate language” toward Pistons guard Brandon Jennings on Twitter. He also missed the first five games of the season because he was serving a suspension for violating the league’s anti-drug program.

Before this season, Smith’s suspensions included 10 games in 2006 for his role in an on-court fight and seven games in 2009 in response to a guilty plea in a reckless driving incident. He was also suspended for three games by the Nuggets in 2007 for his role in an incident at a Denver nightclub.

In addition, Smith drew a $5,000 fine from the NBA for flopping during the 2013 playoffs and a $25,000 fine in 2012 for posting an inappropriate photograph of a woman to his Twitter account.

New York is 12-22 this season, including three victories in its last four games. Smith is averaging 11.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and three assists. He is shooting a career-low 34.8 percent in the first season of a three-year, $17.9 million contract.

38 comments
dckrd
dckrd

what a badass

Rick56
Rick56

As it goes, there will always be a little child inside all of us no matter how old we are...

swededawg52
swededawg52

They are more upset about untying a shoelace than an after hours club shooting. So much for perspective.

Cool
Cool

I am surprised that no one has noticed that Smith has developed a obsessive compulsion disorder and should seek treatment.  He leans down and see's shoelaces and as hard as he may try, he cannot help but reach down and attempt to untie them.  It's like having a toe fetish, you  know, you see some toes wiggling in front of you and you just have to lean down and suck on them.. everyone knows that feeling.. right?.  No?  Oh, well never-mind.  

420sports666
420sports666

hahaha i can't believe how upset people are about this! stop taking it so seriously, it's just a game after all. i think it's hilarious

JubJub
JubJub

King Infant on a team full of infants.  


Speaking as a Nuggets fan, I would like to personally extend my thanks to the Knicks for taking Melo and J.R.  It was greatly appreciated.  

bobinpowell
bobinpowell

“No, I’m not happy about this. He was warned, he comes back and he makes the same mistake, it’s not right." 

"Mistake"?  Really?

wjoinfo1
wjoinfo1

What's he going to do next, have someone bump into him and spill his drink?

YankStard1
YankStard1

It's all intentional people. JR Smith doesn't want to be traded...so what does he do? (A week before he's eligible) He commits a series of high profile antics to sour his trade value. 

1. Takes the bad shot against the Rockets and then claims he didn't remember the score.  Keep in mind this is the game right after Shumpert goes off for 37 against the Spurs.

2. Shoe lace incident #1 against Marion.

3. Sticks up a middle finger to the league and plays at doing it again to Monroe.


Media firestorm today and GMS across the league shaking their heads. Mission Accomplished and it cost him 50k. I think he'll take that deal to keep him clubbing in Manhattan for the rest of the year. Get it?


He didn't do anything close to this last year until AFTER he won the Sixth Man award.

espnrefugee0218
espnrefugee0218

I remember when the knicks got melo and Jr smith and it was a big deal....well that team is garbage

Texas1der
Texas1der

If I were an opponent and he did that stunt to me, he'd do it only once. I'd accept the flagrant foul, likely fine, and possible suspension for burying an elbow in his teeth at the first opportunity.

Craig
Craig

This sounds like one of the guys in that CNN story about athletes that are in college but cannot read or write.  However, I'm not going to equate lack of education with being Stupid.  One is fixable...the other isn't.

Smoothkaos
Smoothkaos

J.R. is an AS$ clown. Who does this?!

kb0617
kb0617

This guy is a piece of sh*t. He doesn't deserve to play in the NBA-it's an honor he doesn't deserve. I hope he tries pulling that on some hothead gets his head knocked into the 20th row of seats.

dl0007
dl0007

How BUSH! What an idiot....should have fined him $100,000 instead of $50,000!

FernandoR
FernandoR

What an idiot, the Knicks should just cut him and use Murry and Shumpert at the guards.

RobertJacke
RobertJacke

Hey JR 8 year old kids to do not a NBA ball player 

Median2
Median2

Shameful. Idk what voo doo you used last year to play well but you've had ur laugh with the ridiculous contract you got so please don't embarrass the knicks any further, your bad play is embarrassing enough.

WHO*IS*ESPN
WHO*IS*ESPN

NY street ballers are not as ghetto trash as he is. 

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

What next? Pouring a cup of ice down a guy's pants?

ak_tatiracanal
ak_tatiracanal

This is one of the things that jumps out at me from the article...


"He is shooting a career-low 34.8 percent in the first season of a three-year, $17.9 million contract."

Regardless of his talent, I wouldn't keep him. Who even thinks of doing stuff like this?


To the best of my knowledge, the NBA doesn't have "goons" anymore, but if he does this again, someone from the opposing team should knock him into the middle of next week.


I would like to see how many Knicks would come to JR's aid.

Plainview
Plainview

this is inappropriate, but hilarious. 

x72
x72

Trash

mkmck69
mkmck69

A punk with a punk move...no surprise there.

JustinParisi
JustinParisi

I don't like Smith. But the shoelace thing is kinda funny....

brians356
brians356

Keep doubling the fine every time he does it again - $100k, $200k, $400k, $800k. I guarantee he will desist. Treat him like a child. What an idiot. Proves you don't need to have a brain to play in the NBA.

newshamg
newshamg

@420sports666 It is also a workplace - and the act he was doing could lead to injury. Grow up son.

M20
M20

@YankStard1 Despite all of his crap, the Knicks wouldn't trade him anyway. His contract is too affordable.

AllThingsConsidered
AllThingsConsidered

@Texas1der And you'd hurt your team in the process...Not very mature either. Let the league deal with him. They will.

M20
M20

@ak_tatiracanal Well, Melo loves him, so the Knicks' company line will be to stand behind him.